Main Article Content
Pre-school children, Intestinal parasites, Helminthes, Cryptosporidium, Ascaris lumbricoides
Background: Infections with intestinal parasites continue to pose serious threats to global public health, particularly in underdeveloped nations. The health of people is negatively impacted by these parasite infections, particularly that of young children.
Objective: To calculate the relationship between intestinal helminth infection and body mass index (BMI) status of school children between 5 and 12 years of age in district Lower Dir, Pakistan. Methodology: Fecal materials were collected from different government schools of both the genders. Four hundred stool samples were examined for the evidence of eggs of various intestinal helminths under the microscope at the Parasitology Laboratory. Body mass index was taken into account and correlated by standard percentile charts for gender and age.
Results: Four hundred students in all took part in the study, with 72.25% of the participants being male and 58.55% of the participants being female. With a prevalence of 33.1% in both sexes, Ascaris lumbcoides had the highest prevalence, followed by Taenia saginata (22.64%), and Schistosoma japonicum (0.34%) in the male population. Of the examined children 71.75% (n=287) children were found infected with various types of IPIs infection. Out of the 400, 241(83.97%) show low, 45 (15.67%) with normal and 1(0.34%) with high body mass index (P>0.005). Intestinal nematodes and cestodes parasitic infection and body mass index relationship (P>0.05). Intestinal parasite infection was not significantly correlated with the parameters, such as weight for age, height for age, and weight for height (P = 0.005).The presence of parasitic infections decreases the body mass index in the study region of Lower Dir.
Conclusions: It is concluded that intestinal parasitic infection play an important role in reducing anthropometric quantity of school-age children.
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